The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) organized a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico last week for Texas A&M University nuclear engineering graduate students and two NSSPI professional staff members. The trip had two objectives: to attend a one-day 19th Annual Technical Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) Southwest Chapter on May 16th and get hands-on training on uranium and plutonium measurements on May 17th.
The students, Linda Anuar, Barbara Fisher, Paul Mendoza, Patrick O’Neal, Athena Sagadevan, Yanuar Ady Setiawan, and Robert Zedric, are all working in areas focused on nuclear nonproliferation, security, or safeguards, and they were joined in New Mexico by three graduate students from the University of New Mexico (UNM) working in the same areas.
At the INMM Southwest Chapter Technical meeting, Mendoza presented a paper titled “Neutron energy spectrum-based nuclear forensics attribution methodology using trace nuclide ratios in weapons-grade plutonium,” and Setiawan presented a paper on “Minimal cut sets evaluation of modified fault tree method for security system vulnerability analysis in radiotherapy facility case study.” The meeting was an opportunity for the students to interact with the INMM southwest regional chapter committee members, as well as share their research with their peers at another regional university.
At LANL, the students participated in a training session at the Nuclear Materials Safeguards Training Facility. They learned how to perform nondestructive assay of uranium and plutonium using neutron and gamma measurements applied to safeguards.
The trip was sponsored by LANL through the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). NGSI supports the training and development of skilled professionals in the area of international safeguards as part of its mission “to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and infrastructure necessary to sustain the international safeguards system as it evolves to meet new challenges.”
LANL staff involved in planning the trip included Mark Croce, Stacey Eaton, James Miller, Laura Osburn, and Alexis Trahan. NSSPI Director Sunil Chirayath and NSSPI Research Engineer Claudio Gariazzo accompanied the students on the trip.